Dong Quai's botanical name is Angelica Sinensis; it is also known as female ginseng.
It has been held in high esteem for 'toning' the blood, lubricating the intestines, and promoting circulation, among others uses.
There is a lovely story about how this herb was named.
The Chinese name for the herb roughly translates to "Ought-To-Return".
The story behind the name is that a young man left behind his bride while he searched for rare herbs on a dangerous mountain.
He delayed so long that the young man's mother asked her daughter-in-law to remarry.
She did so reluctantly and, of course, her first husband returned the next day. She fell into deep despair and melancholy.
The story says her first husband treated her with one of the herbs that he had brought back - Dong Quai.
A Chinese poet observed that the husband should have returned sooner and the wife should have waited longer.
And that is how Dong Quai ("Ought-To-Return) got its name.
Legends aside, numerous studies have demonstrated the value of Dong Quai, especially for addressing women's needs.
Dong Quai is also one of the few herbs that contain B-12 and promotes hematopoiesis (stimulates the bone marrow to produce blood).
Therefore, it is useful for those managing iron-poor blood issues and those whose bodies cannot produce B-12.
Those suffering from anemia should consult their healthcare practitioner to rule out life-threatening disease.
Dong Quai, particularly at high doses, may make you more sensitive to sunlight and cause skin inflammation and rashes. Stay out of the sun or use sunscreen while taking Dong Quai.
Do not use Dong Quai during pregnancy. It may cause the uterus to contract and raise the risk of miscarriage. Nursing mothers should not take Dong Quai because no one knows if it is safe when you are breastfeeding.
Do not give Dong Quai to a child because no one knows whether it is safe for children.
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